Graduate Dominique Lovato receives a necklace made with dollar bills from her mother after graduation May 15 at Thunderbolt Stadium. Mike Sandoval photo.

Forty-nine students from Independence High School reached their goal May 15 by walking across the stage in Cleveland High School’s Thunderbolt Stadium.
IHS, part of Rio Rancho Public Schools, is a credit-recovery program. Educators there help students who have fallen behind for whatever reason, so they can reach that elusive target, a high school diploma.
Many of the students who earned their diploma had to push through personal adversity.
IHS holds three graduations a year — in December, May and July.
Whitney Torrez, mother of graduating senior Dominique Lovato, said, “I think she did a lot better at Independence. I think it made her focus a little more and want to do a little bit better.”

Editor’s note: For more photos from the Independence High School graduation ceremony, pick up a copy of the May 23 Observer. For lists of graduates and other graduation-related content, stop by our office at 409 NM 528, Ste. 101, for a copy of our graduation special section.